kale

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The overwintered kale is sprouting!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Potatoes!!


Clockwise from top left - Caribe, Belleisle, Pink Fir Apple
and Banana (also called Russian Banana)
I may have gone a bit crazy with the potatoes this year.. but, in my own defence, I knew it would be a busy season where I ignored the garden more than I wanted to.. hence, my reliance on low maintenance crops like potatoes.

I usually plant two varieties, but this year I went with four different varieties and dedicated three beds measuring 4 foot by 10 foot each to these tasty tubers. I also bought my seed potatoes from NS sources - www.hopeseed.com and www.halifaxseed.com. Here are my four varieties:


  • Caribe - This has been a favourite for the past few years. We love the amethyst hued skin and bright white interiors. The plants tuber up early, offering plenty of baby potatoes for hodge podgy and roasting, but the mature tubers in autumn are also top notch and can be stored for several months. 
  • Banana - This is the variety I bought from Halifax Seed and was super excited to finally see some fingerlings available locally. I easily snuck 10 small to medium sized yesterday and the elongated tubers held up super well to a quick steaming. They were my 2nd favourite in terms of texture and flavour.. 
  • Belleisle - I got this late maturing spud from Hope Seed and it's said to be 'rippin' dry', but I gotta say that the 2 baby potatoes I dug up yesterday were super creamy once steamed. Maybe they need to be mature before they're dry? I love making homemade baked french fries, so thought these would make a nice tasty treat.. I'll keep you posted as the plants continue to mature. 
  • Pink Fir Apple - I have been waiting YEARS to get my hands on this variety. Hope Seed says it's their favourite variety and I can see why. The flavour and texture yesterday was incredible. The pinkish skin is pretty, the flesh is soft yellow and the tubers had quirky little bumps here and there. My new favourite potato.. I'd like to try and save some for replanting next spring.. I really don't want to risk not finding this variety again next spring. 

Before cleaning!

6 comments:

  1. Pink Fir Apple is indeed a delicious potato. I'm surprised they are mature this early, although we are not renowned for getting early planting done. last year we had very poor luck with all of our potatoes....blight struck fast and furious.
    As a result our "seed " source for our precious Pink Fir Apple was very scanty.

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  2. I'm coming for supper!!
    Donna

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  3. Is it normal for potatoes to be harvested so early? When did you plant them? Several years ago, I grew three different types in tires but was not worth the effort as I only got about 5 potatoes late in the fall.

    Your potatoes look so yummy, I may consider growing them again.

    Can I come to supper with Donna??

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  4. Hi Niki,

    Our family (of 3) LOVES potatoes so, that means we eat them like crazy (5lb bag easily in a few meals). I was wondering when do you start planting them, when is best to buy tubers and also how long can you store home grown potatoes for?

    Thanks :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Georgina,

      Great questions! Here's a good link below all about growing potatoes, but I start planting them in our cold frames in late March.. those will produce little nuggets that are ready by early June.. In the garden, we start planting around May 1st and I stagger the plantings in our beds so that we have a steady supply of baby potatoes. For storage potatoes, harvest mature potatoes in autumn when the vines have died back. Store them in a cool dark place with good air circulation. They should last a few months, but will do even better in a root cellar. Without a root cellar, it's hard to store potatoes for very long.. we keep ours in the garden - under a foot deep layer of straw until Dec.. then, it's back to grocery store potatoes.

      Have fun trying different varieties - we really like All Blue, Caribe, Pink Fir Apple, Banana and such..

      http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/Growing-Potatoes.aspx

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Please feel free to leave comments. I welcome your tips, questions, thoughts and ideas (and suggestions for new veggies to grow!)